Local singer Preis invited to practice with Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Longtime Lovell resident and retired music instructor George Preis has been invited to participate in a rehearsal with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Utah on Dec. 18. He was invited by one of his former music students, Janet Bischoff Greenholgh, who recently became a member of the choir.

George Preis
George Preis

Preis, a music teacher for 30 years, said he was surprised to hear from Greenholgh, who he hasn’t really communicated with since the late 70s when she graduated. He said he was equally surprised that, as a non-Mormon, it was even possible to receive such an honored invitation.

Preis, who sings bass, said he plans to leave for Utah on Dec. 17 to practice with the 360-member choir. He said he’s heard them perform live, but it was many years ago at the All Northwest Music Educators National Convention held in Salt Lake City.

He said he remembers Greenholgh as a quiet girl who stood out in singing. As a member of the Tabernacle choir, she is allowed to invite up to four guests to practice with the choir.

Preis grew up on a ranch in Emblem and has spent most of his life in Wyoming. He attended the University of Northern Colorado, then called Colorado State College, and graduated with a major in music education and a minor in voice.  He later went back to school and earned a master’s degree in computer education. Preis began his musical teaching career in Deaver, where he taught for three years before transferring to Lovell High School, where he headed vocal music program for 28 years. He is currently retired, living part of his time in Lovell and in Arizona.

“Lovell, for a town of about 2,400, had and still has the most phenomenal music talent that you can believe,” wrote Preis in an acceptance letter to the choir.  “Janet Bischoff Greenholgh, who gave me the invitation for this evening, was and is among the best. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Janet.”

By Patti Carpenter